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Supporting wellbeing through scholarship of teaching and learning

Jenny Lawrence (Teaching Excellence Academy, University of Hull, Hull, UK)
Tim Herrick (School of Education, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 27 November 2019

Issue publication date: 15 December 2020




The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact and value of a scholarship of teaching and learning-led (SoTL) professional development in higher education (HE), with a focus on practitioner wellbeing.


The research was a small-scale mixed-methods design, surveying 21 participants and interviewing 3 current students or recent graduates from a UK-based MEd in Teaching and Learning in HE. Data were mapped against an evidence-based framework for wellbeing.


A SoTL-led form of professional development, an MEd in Teaching in Learning in HE, offers participants opportunity to exercise the “Five Ways to Wellbeing in HE”, which has positive outcomes for staff and students.

Research limitations/implications

The research project was not designed to explore the programme’s impact on wellbeing, but to explore its impact and value on individuals and institutions. Reading data against the “Five Ways to Wellbeing in HE” was retrospective, and individual wellbeing was not measured. However, the theoretical implications are that wellbeing is an additional benefit, which adds to the value of SoTL-led professional development in HE, and that further research is required to explore this more fully.

Practical implications

The wellbeing framework outlined in this research and applied to HE can be used as a model for shaping SoTL-led professional development, to the benefit of the entire learning community.


This paper proposes a connection between wellbeing, SoTL-led professional development and the SOTL.



Lawrence, J. and Herrick, T. (2020), "Supporting wellbeing through scholarship of teaching and learning", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 5, pp. 871-881.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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